All buildings, whether your home or a commercial property, have insulation. It’s in the walls, attic, around pipes, plumbing, and other components. Much of the insulation used in these buildings contains high levels of asbestos, and many can easily release asbestos particles into the air when disturbed. ACM has 20 years of industry experience in asbestos detection and removal, demolition, and environmental remediation.
The skills and tools it takes to handle asbestos products and materials, like insulation, and ensure the safety of people and the environment are what make ACM the experts. Keep reading to learn the importance of asbestos insulation removal, the types of asbestos insulation in buildings, and how it is removed safely.
The Importance of Asbestos Insulation Removal
Asbestos is a hazardous naturally-occurring mineral that, when inhaled or ingested, could cause internal harm to the body. The silica fibers that make up asbestos may feel smooth to the touch but act as tiny knives that, once lodged in the body, can damage the body, especially the lungs, for the rest of an individual’s life. Asbestos exposure is associated with mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, pleural plaque, and thickening.
Though the use of asbestos in building materials, like insulation, was officially outlawed in 2019, it is still present in most homes and properties built before the 1990s. As a result, people continue to get exposed to asbestos, which is responsible for thousands of deaths yearly.
The property owner is responsible for ensuring a safe environment by removing asbestos products and materials from their buildings. Due to the nature of insulation and the likeliness of asbestos particles being released into the environment, hiring professionals to mitigate any danger to you, others, and the environment is necessary.
Types of Asbestos Insulation
Asbestos insulation was so common in the 20th century that insulation workers were referred to as “asbestos workers.” Insulation was the biggest source of asbestos exposure at the time. Unfortunately, it remains a toxic hazard in many buildings to this day. Over 25 businesses in the U.S. alone have manufactured asbestos insulation.
There are four primary categories of asbestos insulation: wrap, loose-fill, spray-on, and block. Other types include plaster, cement, electrical panels, and some brands of batt insulation.
Asbestos Insulation Wrappings
This type of asbestos insulation was used to cover ducts, pipes, plumbing, and HVAC elements. Before the 1980s, two types of asbestos insulators wrapped pipes: asbestos-based air-cell insulation and wool insulation. The asbestos-based air-cell insulation was a type of cardboard made from asbestos material. These insulation jackets could disperse asbestos fibers through wear and tear.
Loose-fill Asbestos Insulation
This asbestos insulation is made to be poured or blown onto attic floors or hollow spaces inside walls. Its appearance is fluffy and loose, resembling snow. Some loose-fill asbestos insulations are made almost entirely out of the hazardous mineral. This type is particularly dangerous because of how easily it can be disturbed, sending fibers into the atmosphere.
Spray-on Asbestos Insulation
Spray-on asbestos insulation was made for insulation and fireproofing materials to structural beams, ceilings, and walls. It was designed to reduce the labor and time required to apply insulation. Many commercial buildings have spray-on insulation on their ceilings. You may even see it on the ceilings of parking garages. It looks like a dense layer of gray material. Unfortunately, this insulation can be easily damaged, releasing asbestos particles into the environment.
Asbestos Block Insulation
This type of insulation is made into blocks and glued onto walls. These blocks were almost made entirely of asbestos and posed great danger to insulators, especially when these blocks were damaged or sawed.
Asbestos Insulation Removal Process
The two types of asbestos removal processes utilized to remove and dispose of contamination products and materials are encapsulation and abatement.
Encapsulation involves using a sealant to coat the asbestos product and material. This coating will ensure the particles won’t become airborne. Abatement involves the safe removal of asbestos products and materials from the property. This process includes the safe disposal of contaminated materials according to state and federal regulations.
The contaminated area will be sealed off completely and shut down of all ventilation. ACM specialists will wear coveralls and full-face mask respirators. All materials removed will be placed in clearly labeled, air-tight containers, and HEPA filter vacuums and wet cleanup tools will be used to clean the area. Then specialists will go through a decontamination process before finishing the job.
When you choose the ACM Team for your insulation removal needs, rest assured knowing that our team of experienced professionals will provide a comprehensive plan and reliable approach to asbestos removal. Our years of expertise in this industry make us more than qualified to ensure safety in handling all aspects related to the process. Contact us today at (603) 319-1270 to learn more about our services and how we can help you.